Republican lawmakers are reportedly searching for a solution to combat the flow of fentanyl across the southern border of the United States as the end of Title 42 rule approaches. Deaths from opioids have reached an epidemic level in the country, with over 70,000 American lives lost each year, prompting calls for a public health emergency to address the issue.
Senator Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn., has introduced the Stop Fentanyl Border Crossings Act, which would expand the use of Title 42 to prevent drug smuggling. If passed and signed into law by President Biden, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) would be able to continue to expel illegal migrants at the southern border under Title 42. However, it is unclear if there will be bipartisan support for Senator Hagerty’s legislation.
Senators Kyrsten Sinema, I-Arizona, and James Lankford, R-Okla., have expressed doubts that the Biden administration has properly prepared for the impending influx of migrants when Title 42 ends on May 11th, 2023.
Over the last several months, concerns have been raised by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle regarding the fentanyl crisis, with many hearings focusing on ways to stop the drug’s manufacture and trafficking across the border. The Biden administration has announced a new effort to disrupt the activities of cartels that are stashing, manufacturing, and trafficking fentanyl by creating an international partnership with other governments and the private sector to map the network of their operations.
Senator Hagerty is hoping to bring the bill, which has 10 Republican co-sponsors, to a vote and prevent fentanyl from continuing to wreak havoc on American communities.